Fallen Earth's Question of the Week is out and it's all serious business, like the burning question if the game will have pink ponies with rainbow manes. Yes, it's business as usual here, with a promised PvP report for next Wednesday and much more:
Some of the reports from GDC are starting to trickle in, like the front page story on MMORPG.com today. We should see a few more of those on other sites over the next few weeks. We're in the process of figuring out the rest of our convention schedule for the year, but it looks like we should be making at least one trip to the western United States this summer and at least one convention abroad. We don't have all the dates locked in yet, but when we do we'll let everyone know.
We're having our long-awaited PvP battle and report on Wednesday, so that should be written up for next week's Question of the Week. We're spending a good part of this week tuning up weapons, armor, and mutations for that battle to make sure everything plays properly.
We appreciate the discussion that got started up last week after we mentioned our current debates on cars. We're interested in what folks have to say about the topics we're discussing internally, so it's nice to see people throwing ideas around in one space that is easily read.
Last week when I was talking about the game being "feature" complete or incomplete, I don't think I was very clear in what that meant. The majority of the basic game functions are in: you can run around, shoot, fight critters, harvest resources, jump, etc. The basics of a playable game are done. What isn't done are all the bells and whistles. Some bells are done, like the mail system or the PvP conflict towns, but other whistles like vehicles and clans are not finished. It's that stuff I said was about half way done. Some folks raised the concern that we couldn't balance the game without everything working, which in some ways may be true, but even the systems we don't have working yet we have extensive design documents for, so we know how they will work when they do work. We know how it will all go together in the end, though from there we'll obviously need some tweaking and balancing.
1. QOTW has been going for a year now.. Most basic questions have been answered...but have any of the previous answers changed?
Some things have changed, but mostly minor ones. For example, we're looking at dropping the Evade skill from the basic 10 active skills, combining its functionality into the Melee skill, and adding Animal Training to the active skills list. We're also adding a general mutation path that players get right off the bat to get them used to mutations earlier. We haven't done any real major changes, just small changes here and there.
2. Will there be crafting materials that are only found in certain zones (including PvP zones)?
There will be some items that can only be found in PvP zones, but most of them won't be related to crafting but instead related to the goals of the PvP zone, such as taking control of a conflict town by collecting certain resources only found in that area. Some of these may also be used in crafting.
We generally avoid using raw items (i.e. not made through craft skills) that are found outside of conflict towns to take control of conflict towns; this is so players don't money bomb the place into submission by buying up the item in question from the auction house in mass quantities. We do have conflict towns you can take control of through crafting, but we don't want to enable large clans to buy control of a lower-level conflict town just because their higher-level members can spare the cash.
3. I know you said that we will have horses. Any chance of a pink pony with rainbow mane and tail for just me?!? PWEEEEEESE!!?!?!?!
Errrr, no. I direct you to http://www.hellokittyonline.com/us/, you may have more luck there. There are no rainbows in Fallen Earth. Most of them died in the Shiva plague, and those that survived are now held captive in Captain Pouches' burrow. He has kept them hungry and made them mean; now they strike terror into the hearts of their enemies with their multi-colored lasers.
But you could totally have a sweet rainbow-colored car.
4. How will the interactions between the sub-groups within factions impact gameplay? For example, will certain missions be available because of favoring a certain way of dealing with situations?
Yes, often you'll run into members of different sub-factions who will offer you different ways to solve the same mission, or competing storylines where you can choose to align with one sub-faction or another.
5. Curious if the PvP zones will be big enough to justify the risk/reward for rapid movement etc.
Our PvP zones are pretty big. I can take ten or twenty minutes to get across one, so fast travel is pretty useful. I wouldn't take my car in there, though; that's a good way to lose your car. Horses are another matter though.